Finn Harps supporters will say farewell to one of the club’s veterans this Friday night.
Harps play Limerick in another important SSE Airtricity Premier Division fixture - and it will be the last home game for midfielder Michael Funston, who this week announced his departure from the club.
The Letterkenny man will finish up with Harps after their game at Sligo Rovers on June 2nd, the last fixture before the mid-season break.
Funston, who has played over 330 games for Harps, has been a firm favourite of the Harps faithful, such has been his contribution to the club since making his debut back in 2004. He will be remembered fondly for some gritty performances and crucial goals in the play-off wins over Waterford United (2007) and Limerick (2015).
Speaking to the Democrat yesterday, Funston said he had made his mind up to leave a few weeks ago.
“It's something I've thought about for a while,” he said.
“It's never easy leaving a club like Harps and I have had many great years here. But I think the time was right to move on. All good things, as they say, come to an end.”
Funston took to social media on Tuesday night to reveal that the Sligo match next Friday night, will be his last.
“After 12 years, 300 odd games, I’ve had some great memories. I would like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity of representing them for the past 12 years,” Funston said.
“To all the managers I’ve worked under, thanks for giving me your time and putting your faith in me. And to the supporters, thanks for your unwavering and loyal support always.”
Funston’s departure is an obvious blow to Ollie Horgan and a Harps team who face another important fixture on Friday night.
Speaking after the win over St. Patrick’s Athletic, the Harps manager was ironically, upbeat about the prospects of having more players available again after the recent injury problems.
He also confirmed that both Ciaran O’Connor and Killian Cantwell will return from suspension after missing Monday night’s game.
“There’s one or two who won’t be back because of injury,”Horgan said.
“But at least we will have something to work with. I’m not saying we hadn’t anything to work with over the past couple of weeks, but it was limited.
“Some lads had to play week in and week out. The likes of Paddy McCourt and Barry Molloy played with injuries and on Friday night (in Galway) it caught up with Paddy and to a certain extent, Barry too.”
Horgan was in Dalymount Park on Tuesday night to watch Limerick’s 2-1 victory over Bohemians.
It was the Munster club’s first win since the appointment of Neil McDonald as manager and the win lifted them up to sixth in the Premier Division.
It remains very tight towards the bottom with only two points separating the bottom six and Harps are one of four clubs sitting joint bottom on 14.
Friday night’s game at Finn Park kicks off at 8pm.